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C H A P T E R 5 Case Studies: Special-Event Management Special events present a unique case of demand fluctuation that traffic on the freeways around the event. Representatives of causes traffic flow in the vicinity of the event to be radically dif- KDOT who were interviewed included Leslie Spencer Fowler, ferent from typical patterns. Special events can severely affect ITS program manager, and Mick Halter, PE, who was formerly reliability of the transportation network, but because the events with KDOT as the District One metro engineer during the are often scheduled months or even years in advance, they design and implementation of the Kansas Speedway. Fowler offer an opportunity for planning to mitigate the impacts. and Halter provided an excellent history of the development of Because large-scale events are recurring at event venues, it the project, as well as a description of KDOT's current opera- gives an opportunity for agencies to continually evaluate and tional procedures used during races at the Kansas Speedway. refine strategies, impacts, and overall process improvements KDOT maintains the CCTV cameras and portable DMS over time. around the Speedway and assists KHP with traffic control on In this section, case studies are presented that examine the the freeways. processes developed for special-event management at the Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kans., and the Palace of Auburn Hills Description near Detroit, Mich. This case study examines the development of the special-event management procedures for races at the Kansas Speedway. Par- Kansas: Kansas Speedway ticular focus is given to the roles and responsibilities of the KHP In 2001, the Kansas Speedway opened for its first major and KDOT in developing the initial infrastructure and strate- NASCAR race. With attendance exceeding 110,000 people, it gies that led to a successful special-event management process set a record as the largest single-day sporting event in the his- that has been used and refined for 8 years. One of the strongest tory of Kansas. Attendance has continued to grow and now recurring themes in development of this case study was the out- exceeds 135,000 for most major races. The traffic control standing cooperation and partnerships that were developed strategies that were put into place to handle these major events between the agencies involved. Each agency has clearly defined were the result of years of planning between the Kansas Speed- responsibilities before and on race day, though no agency is way, Kansas Highway Patrol (KHP), Kansas Department of considered in charge. They cooperate to safely and efficiently Transportation (KDOT), and the Kansas City Police Depart- move vehicles from the freeways to city streets to the Kansas ment. The process was successful in part because of the clear Speedway parking lots and then do the same process in reverse. lines of responsibility that were defined for each agency and the strong spirit of cooperation and trust that was established Background of Agency before the first race was held. In preparation for this case study, representatives from KHP The Kansas Speedway is a 1.5-mi oval race track suitable for and KDOT were interviewed. Lt. Brian Basore and Lt. Paul many types of races, including Indy and NASCAR. Seating Behm represented the KHP Troop A and were able to share capacity is currently being expanded to 150,000 people, and their experience from many years of actively managing special parking capacity allows for 65,000 vehicles. The Speedway is events at the Kansas Speedway. The primary responsibilities of located approximately 15 mi west of downtown Kansas City, KHP are to operate the KHP Command Center that was estab- near the intersection of I-70 and I-435, which serve as the pri- lished for the Kansas Speedway race events and to manage mary routes used by spectators attending the races. Events are 45

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46 held throughout the year, and there are typically two major Speedway. The priority placed on this project by the governor's race events each year when crowds reach capacity. The major- office served as the first enabler to implementing the traffic ity of parking is on Kansas Speedway property and is free for management process. spectators. The Kansas Speedway provides attendants and KDOT developed an extensive plan to accommodate the directs vehicles into the parking areas. large number of vehicles expected to attend events at the The primary agencies involved in traffic management for the Kansas Speedway. I-70 needed to be widened and a new inter- Kansas Speedway include KHP Troop A in Kansas City, KDOT change was needed at 110th Street. US-24, which went through District One, and the Kansas City Police Department. KHP the proposed site of the track, needed to be completely is responsible for traffic management on the freeways and for realigned. Although not part of the original planning, CCTV operation of the KHP Command Center, which is activated cameras and portable DMS were also required to assist with several days before major events and serves as the central com- traffic management. KDOT identified funding for each of their munications center for all public agencies on race day. The full proposed infrastructure projects, and these projects were resources of Troop A (over 40 troopers) are used on race day, included in the package that was submitted to the International along with over 20 other troopers from around the state. KHP Speedway Corporation. also deploys a helicopter to monitor traffic from the air and More than a year before the first race event at the Kansas roving motorcycle units on race day. KDOT District One is Speedway, all the agencies involved in traffic management responsible for maintaining five CCTV cameras and deploy- began planning for the event. Agencies that participated in the ing 12 portable DMSs on roads used to access the Speedway. planning included KHP, KDOT, KTA, Kansas City Police, The Kansas City Police Department provides officers for the Wyandotte County, and the Kansas Speedway. The Missouri city street network that links the freeways to the Kansas DOT and Missouri Highway Patrol were also initially involved Speedway (1). because there was concern that traffic could be affected east of Other participants in the process include Wyandotte County the track into Missouri. (Once the Speedway opened, it turned and the Kansas Turnpike Authority (KTA). Wyandotte County out that this concern was unfounded as race traffic had only currently owns the WebEOC software used by all participat- minor impacts on I-70 near the Speedway and did not affect ing agencies to share information and request assistance on traffic on I-70 in Missouri.) To facilitate traffic management race day (2). The KTA maintains I-70 near the Speedway. It is planning, a consultant also was brought on-board early in the responsible for such maintenance tasks on this section of I-70 process. as snow and ice removal, guardrail, and signing and striping, The success of the planning for traffic management was although the section is not tolled. attributed to two primary factors. The first was the importance that the governor and Kansas City placed on the success of hosting major races at the Kansas Speedway. Millions of dol- Process Development lars were invested by the state and city to bring the race track The Kansas Speedway opened for its first major event in sum- to Kansas, and to recoup their investment they needed to suc- mer 2001. However, development of the process for special- cessfully host large races. The visibility and importance of the event traffic management began long before Kansas City was first successful event was a great motivator for every agency even selected as the site for the racetrack. involved. The second factor to which success was attributed In the early 1990s the International Speedway Corpora- was the personalities involved. Several of those interviewed for tion was searching for a new location for a race track in the this case study noted that there were no egos in the room that Midwest. The track was expected to host several large events got in the way. A sense of mutual respect among the agencies per year, including at least one to two major races that were and for their work was a consistent factor in planning for expected to attract more than 100,000 people. Given the poten- traffic management. No single agency was designated as "in tial positive economic benefit that such a facility could bring to charge"; rather, each agency took responsibility for its piece and an area, the International Speedway Corporation solicited pro- worked well with the other agencies to ensure overall success. posal packages from several sites under consideration. Propos- The result of the planning efforts was a multilayered traffic als needed to address criteria established by the International plan with different agencies leading the layers. The first layer Speedway Corporation for site selection, including accessibil- dealt with interstate traffic, which was KHP's responsibility. ity of the site to attendees. The effort to bring the race track to The second layer dealt with traffic on local streets traveling Kansas was led by Kansas City, with strong support from the between the interstates and the Kansas Speedway, this layer governor and lieutenant governor of Kansas. Understanding was the responsibility of the Kansas City Police Department. the importance of accessibility, the governor directed KDOT The third layer handled traffic entering or leaving the track to develop a plan and provide funding to make the necessary property, which was the responsibility of the Kansas Speed- infrastructure improvements to handle race traffic for the way. KDOT provided support to all three layers through

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47 deployment of CCTV cameras, DMS, and cones. Each layer are sent and portable DMS are controlled. On the day before was critical to successfully manage traffic for events. race day, KHP conducts a briefing to review the setup and pro- cedures for race day. During the race event, KHP, Kansas City Police Department, and the Kansas Speedway manage traffic Detailed Process and Integration Points on freeways, local streets, and in the parking lots. KHP deploys Figure 5.1 shows the detailed process that was developed for a helicopter to monitor traffic from the air and roving officers special-event traffic management at the Kansas Speedway. on monocycles to patrol the heavily congested areas around Before a major event, all four agencies that are involved in man- the Speedway that cannot be easily accessed by troopers in aging traffic on race day come together for a meeting to discuss cruisers. All agencies continue to communicate primarily the upcoming event and changes or special circumstances that through WebEOC, a system owned by Wyandotte County need to be considered in their planning. These agencies have that lets each agency monitor messages and communicate on worked closely together since the first event in 2001, and there a web-based system. is a clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities of Once the race is completed, a follow-up meeting to review each agency. race day events may be held. This meeting was originally held In the week before race day, KHP will activate the KHP after every event during the first few years the Kansas Speed- Command Center. The KHP Command Center is the commu- way was in operation, but as traffic management has become nications hub for the event and is where CCTV camera feeds more efficient, it is now only held as warranted. Figure 5.1. Detailed business process diagram of Kansas Speedway special event.

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48 Several key integration points were identified in the Kansas used around the Kansas Speedway and can assist with manag- Speedway special-event traffic management process, including ing any incident that blocks roadways. Over time, KHP and the following: KDOT have refined temporary traffic control patterns and gen- eral traffic control to increase efficiency of the system as much Integration between KHP and KDOT for deployment and as possible. operation of CCTV cameras and portable DMS; One of the primary concerns on race day is getting traffic off Integration between KHP, KDOT, Kansas City Police I-70 without significantly affecting through traffic. Because Department, and Kansas Speedway to develop traffic man- major races are held on weekends, the overall level of traffic on agement plans for upcoming events and to discuss traffic I-70 is generally lighter than what is experienced on a weekday. management performance after operations; and As part of the initial package that was proposed by Kansas City Integration between KHP, KDOT, Kansas City Police to bring the Speedway to Kansas, KDOT agreed to add one Department, Kansas Speedway, and Wyandotte County more lane to I-70 to accommodate overflow traffic for major for sharing of information through WebEOC during the races. KHP has been able to quickly move traffic off I-70 with special event. only minor impacts on through traffic on the interstate. KDOT has not done a study of travel times for through traffic on race Types of Agencies Involved day, but they estimate that at peak periods before or after a race, motorists on I-70 will only experience minor slowdowns with The primary agencies that are involved in the special-event perhaps 5 min of delay to their total trip. traffic management are KHP, KDOT, Kansas City Police, and the Kansas Speedway. As described earlier, a three-layered approach is set up, with KHP responsible for traffic on the free- Performance Measures ways, Kansas City Police responsible for traffic on local streets, The Kansas Speedway tracks the time it takes to clear parking and Kansas Speedway responsible for traffic in the parking lots after races and has seen improvements in clearance times areas. Numerous special teams have been established to facili- since the initial race in 2001. After races, if something went tate the special-event traffic management on race day. These wrong or clearance times exceeded normal ranges, this infor- include the KHP Post Commanders Team, Logistics Team, mation is shared with KHP and an evaluation meeting with all and KDOT Team. The KHP Post Commanders Team is made agencies involved in the traffic management may be held to up of the commanders from each traffic post where KHP will review the traffic management. However, these instances are be directing traffic. The post commanders attend the post com- rare and in most events the parking lot clearance times can be manders briefing the evening before the race begins, direct the accurately estimated based on race attendance. other troopers at their post, and communicate with the KHP KHP initially used troopers stationed at 14 inbound posts Command Center. The Logistics Team is responsible for set- and 11 outbound posts to direct traffic. Although not a per- ting up the event, including staging and setting up of tempo- formance measure, the shift to seven inbound and seven rary traffic control, providing water and tents for troopers at outbound posts is seen by KHP as an indication of the traffic posts, and running errands during the event. The KDOT improvement of their traffic management efficiency. Team is responsible for maintaining the CCTV cameras, put- ting the portable DMS boards in place and changing messages on the board if the wireless communications fail, and assisting Benefits with temporary traffic control placement. The planning and cooperation between KHP, KDOT, Kansas City Police, and the Kansas Speedway allowed for efficient traf- Types of Nonrecurring Congestion Addressed fic management of more than 100,000 spectators from day one. The process for managing the Kansas Speedway traffic deals The agencies involved in traffic management have been able to with nonrecurring congestion due to a special event. When the improve their efficiency and reduce the manpower needed to Kansas Speedway first opened in 2001, KHP set up 14 inbound manage traffic over time and consider their traffic management posts and 11 outbound posts, with troopers stationed at each effort a success from the start. post to direct traffic. Since then, KHP has increased the effi- The popularity of racing in the United States and the effi- ciency of traffic management and has been able to reduce the cient use of the Kansas Speedway have prompted an expansion number of posts down to seven inbound and seven outbound. of the seating capacity of the Speedway. Current expansion Traffic is monitored from the KHP Command Center using work will bring the total seating capacity of the Kansas Speed- CCTV cameras and a helicopter that provides updates on traf- way to 150,000. Without an efficient plan to move spectators fic conditions; portable DMSs with wireless communication in and out of the Speedway, this expansion would not be can assist in directing traffic. The roving motorcycle units are possible.